(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, March 12, 2017)
Second Sunday of Lent
Hopefully, most of us have settled into the discipline of Lent. As we get out of bed each morning, we're getting more accustomed to looking ahead to some special practice we've decided on for the day, whether it's joining with a friend to visit a sick member of the parish at home, or just spending a little more time listening to the Lord in prayer.
Lent provides endless opportunities for personal Spiritual growth and bonding with the Body of Christ. Are we within reach of a daily Mass that fits our schedule? More frequent Eucharist is really the crown of Lenten practice—the sacred liturgy focuses our minds on the Word, nourishes our whole person with the grace of Holy Communion and gives joy and purpose to the whole day.
The first readings last week and this week are about our spiritual ancestors. Why is it so important for us to keep them in front of our eyes? Like all stories of ancestors, they teach us to live by avoiding their mistakes and imitating their virtues. Adam made a big mistake—disobedience. In contrast, Abram (or Abraham) shows us a huge virtue—faith. Disobedience lost us a garden of delights, while obedient faith won us a wonderful holy ground called the Promised Land. Lent is about fleeing sin and journeying to holy places—places of prayer, challenge and growth.
The Gospel is about the "high places" in our journey, pointing to light and resurrection. Jesus is at ease when talking with Moses and Elijah, both of whom had experienced light in their encounters with God on earth. The great Lawgiver and the great Prophet talk to Jesus who is the Law, to Jesus who fulfills all prophecy. We wonder what they talked about. Perhaps Jesus is telling them that soon, He will bring them to everlasting encounter with light, as soon as He has risen from death.
If we're really serious about Lent, well take the Transfiguration experience as Jesus intended. As He taught a lesson in patience and hope to Peter, James, and John, so He teaches us to listen and wait, to let the message of Jesus soak into our lives so that we can live it better.
Lent is really exciting! No wonder that it's the favorite time of year for so many people! Are the less fortunate having a room in our Lenten Season? The Bishop Appeal helps to answer this question.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor